Way back in 1998, before the internet had captured our attention so completely, Trebbe Johnson wrote a manifesto called the Gaia Enlightenment. Hard copy style. Sold for a dollar a piece! My last copy surfaced last week when I thought to show it to a visiting friend. She was blown away by the wisdom and beauty, so I reread it myself this morning.
Powerful indeed. 20 years later the message is more important than ever because we humans still do not widely acknowledge our alienation from the ground that supports us. As we search for ways to experience our fullest selves, we forget to look to the most important source of wisdom and beauty: NATURE.
Trebbe says, “Nature is the force that literally keeps us alive…How can we manifest our true human nature when we ignore primal Nature all around us? It is as if we were trying to craft a ship by expending great care on the sails, keel, mast and frame, while forgetting to build the hull. We are overlooking the foundation that keeps us afloat in our world. And why do we go to experts for enlightenment when we could turn to the wisest and most accessible mentor of all – that same great provider – Nature?”
So I want to thank Trebbe Johnson for initiating the Global Earth Exchange, (GEX) which she began 9 years ago to help us modern, urban humans reconnect to our Mother, Nature.
Last Saturday, June 16th, 2018 , for this year’s GEX, we met at the Japanese American Exclusion Memorial on Bainbridge Island in Washington State. This particular place represents the wounding of fear caused by human separation from the “other”. It doesn’t seem to matter what the “other” is. As long as there is the notion of otherness, fear rises. Nidoto Nai Yoni – let it not happen again – became our chant as we made origami peace cranes to take with us to the beach, Pritchard Park, which is contiguous with the Memorial. This beach represents the wounding of greed, ignorance and short sightedness caused by human separation from the ground of our being, Earth.
Now a superfund site due to creosote contamination, we gathered on the beach next to the old manufacturing plant and drew a giant water wheel mandala by walking it out with our bare feet. The center circle became our place of prayer as we made a large crane from whatever we found on the beach, including trash. As we began making our artful radjoy bird, an eagle chased by crows flew over, suggesting to me how many small ones gathered together can change the mind of a more powerful predator. Like GEX, each small community’s contribution is amplified and strengthened by all the heartfelt others around the globe purpose-fully loving their homes during the same time frame.
We knew the origami cranes were to be included in our beauty making. As the inner circle was outlined with golden leaves of the dying madrona trees lined up by the chain link fence, someone counted the cranes. We had eight, the same number as the annual markers of the eight seasonal shifts celebrated by many cultures. Same number as the cardinal directions. Before we knew it, eight scalloped, golden “nests” were made as homes for our cranes. Someone cried out: “Look, we’re hatching peace.”
As our final act, we took turns spiraling the golden yarn from the red heart rock of the rad joy peace crane, each of us verbally expressing our blessings and prayers as we patted the yarn into the seaweed chestbelly of our bird. As we completed our ceremony, a lone heron flew over, headed for its roost on the far side of the harbor.
“May all humans return home,” seemed an appropriate final prayer.
We didn’t want to leave the yarn as a potential threat to creatures, so when our ceremony was finished, we cut the yarn into equal lengths for each of us to take home. The next day two of us used that yarn to bind paper prayers onto prayer sticks which were released over a cliff to the winds high up in the Olympic Mountains. Global Earth Exchange reverence and love carried even farther. Such a joy!